Schad, a German painter and printmaker who moved to Switzerland after the beginning of World War I, followed the activities of the Zurich Dada group. In 1919 he began to prepare small compositions of torn paper, newsprint, and fabric that he arranged on sheets of photographic paper, pressed flat under glass, and exposed to light on his balcony window. The results transmuted the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life (this one is called "Thursday No. 4") into striking reversals of light and dark. It was early in the next decade when Schad, who had long since moved on from Dada, learned that the movement's Zurich ringleader Tristan Tzara–with whom he had left the prints, including this one–had dubbed them "Schadographs."
Inscription: Inscribed and signed in ink on mount, recto LL, LR: "jeudi IV", "Christian Schad"; inscribed in unknown hand in pencil on mount, verso UL: "TT."
Estate of Tristan Tzara; Morton G. Neumann, Chicago (sold to Waddell on February 16, 1984); John C. Waddell, New York